since hurricane sandy hit. mitt romney has an event starting any minute now in roanoke, virginia. and we'll wait to see today's tone on the campaign trail, but it's been noticeably softer from romney since the storm. now, we continue to see absolutely devastating pictures from sandy. 74 people are now dead. 5 million still without power. this morning, president obama was briefed again on the situation by fema officials. yesterday, he spent four hours touring the damage and meeting with people in new jersey. in an emotional moment, a marina owner came to him in tears. he promised her she's going to get the help she needs. >> we are with here for you. and we will not forget. we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you've rebuilt. >> well, it's unprecedented timing. this is all happening just five days before the election. the latest round of nbc news wall street journal polls show the president leading in iowa, wisconsin, and new hampshire. but it is still very close. let me bring in washington post columnist dana millbank and molly ball. good morning.